This annual article, which spotlights companies that manufacture a large percentage of their products right here in the United States, gets its title from Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 single, a song whose widespread misinterpretation as a roaring patriotic anthem has done nothing to hamper its iconic status. In the words of The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, the world has become increasingly “flat” and, as a result, it’s now easier than ever for companies to move their production offshore to decrease overhead costs and, possibly, boost profitability. And, in some cases and for some business models, offshoring might in fact be the best decision for a company’s long-term sustainability.
That said, The Music & Sound Retailer’s belief in domestic manufacturing is unwavering, and the following 21 respondents from companies large and small collectively go to show that, in the music products industry, the value proposition of building “Made in America” product remains persuasive. Agree? Disagree? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Music & Sound Retailer: Put yourself in the shoes of a music products retailer working at his or her brick-and-mortar store. Why does it make sense for that retailer to invest in vendors whose products are “Made in America”? What benefits does stocking “Made in America” products yield for retailers?
Why buy American? Because it is good for America. It creates jobs, which improves the economy, which in turn improves the overall health of retail and will lead to more sales for the independent music retailer.
Additionally, most independent retailers are small, and they are competing with the big-box stores. They need to differentiate themselves and carry product the big guys don’t stock. The big-box retailers will always be able to under-price the independents on gear they both sell, and they survive on margins that an independent can’t. American-made product tends to come from smaller, boutique manufacturers, which can give independents a differentiating product and give customers a reason to come to their store versus going to the large